Re: [unrev-II] Session #2 - Moving People?

From: Eric Armstrong (
Date: Tue Jan 18 2000 - 18:29:31 PST

From: Eric Armstrong <>

Jeff Miller wrote:

> think of a system of robotic cars - never
> mind how practice it is at the moment. This system would operate by
> having
> you go to a pick-up point, a post in the say, request a car, press the
> button, insert a smart card. A car would then be dispatched from a
> near by
> storage bay, stop in front of you. You would hop in key in the
> destination...

My vision is somewhat different, based on two interesting data points:
   * The energy-advantage of trains comes from their decreased
      wind resistance.

   * As an MIT professor once said, personal computers will always
      be around because, like cars they represent "policy control". In
      car, that means it goes where you want, when you want. In a
      computer, that means the upgrades, downtimes, and batch-
      processing slow-downs occur when you want them to. (For
      cars, it also means what you store in them and how luxurious
      it is.)

Putting those two data points together produces my vision of the
ideal transportation system:

    a) It consists of modular cars that give you what you want in
        the way of looks, styling, amenities, and status-appeal. It
        can be driven where you want, when you want.

    b) It hook into a continuous-stream of moving modules that
        operates like a train. Some automated system merges you
        into the system on the fly, and you peel off when you need
        to and take over the controls.

Boy, talk about the Jetsons. But such a system would combine
the aerodynamic advantages of trains with the policy control
of individual automobiles.

File that one under "currently impractical" in the tactical attacks

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